A man has been dramatically cleared of attempted murder after a jury found the case against him ‘not proven’.
The majority verdict meant that Gary Harkins was acquitted of stabbing Dale Dickson in the neck to his permanent disfigurement and to the danger of his life.
The jury heard evidence that Mr Dickson 28, lost a lot of blood “at great speed” after a stab wound in West Lothian sliced through a main vein branching into his jugular.
Medics at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary had to resuscitate him and give him an emergency blood transfusion. after he started losing consciousness when paramedics rushed him there with life-threatening injuries.
Mr Dickson told police he couldn’t name his attacker in a police statement because he “didn’t want to be a grass” but mentioned the first name “Gary” to detectives.
Another witness said he saw the accused follow Mr Dickson out of the Muscle Asylum gym in Bathgate after an exchange of words.
Shortly afterwards he heard a scuffle outside and saw Mr Dickson covered in blood and holding his neck.
The jury also heard uncorroborated evidence that Harkins walked back into the gym holding a five-inch knife and put it into his black and red holdall before leaving.
The Crown accepted that the evidence implicating him was “circumstantial” and that no-one had witnessed the actual attack.
Harkins, 43, from Bathgate was earlier found not guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by disposing of a holdall a knife and clothing following the alleged assault, on 13 December last year after the Crown withdrew the charge.